UK: Asset Or Liability, How Do You View Your Workforce?

Last Updated: 13 November 2017
Article by Deanna Lloyd

"Our business is only as good as the people we have." A phrase you will have heard or read as part of leadership strategy and communications. But how often do business leaders make human capital decisions on the premise that people are a contribution to the business, rather than a cost?

Human contribution has not traditionally been used by accountancy practices and business operations to evaluate workforce productivity. Here lies an age old conundrum. How do you know the true worth of your workforce if you're only ever measuring one aspect of it?

This is an important problem, and has been for centuries. Most people know that their employees are contributing positively to the bottom line of the business, but accountancy practices still treat them as a cost on the balance sheet. This incapacitates business leaders from making strategic decisions that put the workforce first. What if this was not the case?

Society as a whole has been attempting to quantify the value-add humans have provided for centuries. From studies that tried to calculate the cost to the UK economy of death in war, to today's sophisticated life insurance algorithms and predictive consumer marketing techniques. However, for organisations this has always been a negative equation. The cost of paying the workforce to drive productivity.

The main barrier is a lack of data and information that describes such behaviours. Today, this barrier is no longer in existence. Just as there is a wealth of data that forms our consumer profile and predicts our buying habits, there is also data that can be used to predict and influence our behaviour as employees. In the same way we leave consumer data trails, we also now leave workforce data trails that describe us as an employee on a level not previously ever understood or possible.

Sound scary? Let's think about this further. As consumers, we accept the Terms and Conditions for applications on our phones often without even reading them. We are happy to sign up to store membership cards where every purchase we make under that brand is collected for their own research. We are comfortable putting credit card information and other personal details online in order to purchase goods and services. So when we think about our data being used by our employers, why does it feel like a bigger issue? There may be concerns regarding the security or misuse of our data. We may be concerned that this information could be used against us.  Each of these are valid reasons to be sceptical of employee data being used by corporations; however they are the same issues that had to be overcome for market and consumer research and there is no reason why they won't be overcome for employee data usage either.

Another more promising way to consider this is the opportunity we as the human workforce will have to truly know what value we bring to the organisation and how to continuously learn and improve this. Gone will be the days of management making subjective decisions. Our workforce data trail will enable a full transparent view of human workforce value contribution for both employees and the organisations that manage them. What if you received advanced notice of a training or development course that will improve your value contribution before your next role? What if you were notified of a high stress, potential burnout situation before it occurs? The scale at which we can now use workforce data across all stages of the employee lifecycles is genuinely exciting.

Workforce economics has a long way to go, most of which will be solved through culture and behaviour change. However, one thing is for sure; the future of data use in all industries will have to incorporate complete transparency. Consumers want to know why and how their data is being used and this principle should be automatically adapted to workforce analytics techniques. Not only is it the right thing to do, but regulation will demand employee transparency on personal data use. This means HR practitioners and business leaders will have to let go of the fear of releasing information to the masses.

Some organisations are already pioneering in this space. By using their workforce data to predict and ultimately influence employee behaviour. Be that through proactive career managements, smarter recruitment practices or building better teams; this is not something of the future. It is happening right now.

At Deloitte, we have spent the better part of the last year developing a robust methodology and approach to tackle some of these issues. A secure ethical method for aggregating, cleaning, structuring and calculating human value contribution to the bottom line. The first version of the solution is called the Employee Value Index, EVI. Through further iterations and testing with our clients, we are able to refine this solution even further. Allowing for our understanding of what humans contribute to organisations to continue to improve over time.

Perhaps the real reason we have never truly been able to measure the value humans contribute to organisations is because we have been going about it the wrong way all along. It is not so much what humans can provide to us as it is how we provide the optimal environment and experience for humans to thrive. Just as we are investing in building the right spaces and environments for our machines and robots, we also need to do this with the human contribution in mind. There is no better place to start than measuring what your current humans contribute in their current environment today.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.